The Sterling Award for a US Feature goes to OCTOBER COUNTRY directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, which documents the multi-generational story of a working-class family coping with poverty, teen pregnancy, foster care and the ineffable horrors of child molestation and war. The directors will receive $10,000 cash.
The Sterling Award for a World Feature goes to MUGABE AND THE WHITE AFRICAN directed by Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson, which explores, through the lens of a 74-year-old white farmer, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s deeply controversial land seizure program, which intended to re-distribute white-owned farmland. The director will receive $10,000 cash.
The Sterling Award for a Short Film was given to 12 NOTES DOWN directed by Andreas Koefoed, which documents 14-year old star choir performer, Jorgis, after his voice starts changing as he decides when and how to make an unexpected yet graceful exit from choir. The filmmaker will receive $5,000 cash.
The Music Documentary Award presented by Gibson Guitars went to RISEUP directed by Luciano Blotta. The film chronicles three Jamaican musicians as they fight for a place in the overcrowded reggae field. Gibson Guitars will present a Gibson Les Paul Studio to the winner.
The Cinematic Vision Award went to OLD PARTNER directed by Lee Chung-ryoul. The film captures the peculiar yet touching relationship between an old farmer, living in a remote South Korean village, and his 40-year old ox. The filmmaker will receive $2,500 cash and $4,000 of in-kind services from Alpha Cine.
The WITNESS Award in honor of Joey R. B. Lozano was given to GOOD FORTUNE by Landon Van Soest, which examines two multi-million dollar international aid projects in Africa that may actually be undermining the very communities they seek to help. The award is given to the strongest documentary about human rights violations or social justice issues. The filmmaker will receive $5,000 cash.
The Award Winner for the Animal Content in Entertainment (ACE) Grant went to CINEMA CHIMP by David Grabias. The feature-length documentary profiles Cheeta, “star” of film and TV, as it explores the ethical debate over using non-human primate “actors” in the entertainment industry. The director will receive a $25,000 grant.
The Feature Audience Award went to THE COVE directed by Louie Psihoyos, which follows Richard O’Barry, the man who made “Flipper” a household name, as he and his team try to stop Japanese fishermen from slaughtering dolphins for the consumer marker. Psyhoyo’s film is an indictment of human greed and arrogance, a tale of redemption and a desperate call to action.
For more information, go to SILVERDOCS.com.